732 Tasting Notes
Decided to blend myself a sweet dessert tea for breakfast. It’s Friday and I deserve a treat. I took 1 part Pinky Up’s Coconut Creme with Flowers and one part Kusmi’s Caramel.
It’s wonderful. A creamy, coconutty, sweet and savory caramel tea. The caramel aroma sits in my nose and reminds me of Werther’s Originals. I hate that I keep coming up with these delicious blends with discontinued teas, though! I can make this maybe two more times and then it’s gone forever.
This is from my February Sips by box. A rose tea for Valentine’s Day. I’m a bit late, but that’s life.
There are lots of rose petals mixed with this white tea. It’s very pretty. I’m also seeing not rose hips, but the naked bud before it becomes a rose hip. I’m not sure what that’s called. A rose butt? Dry, the tea smells rosy and peppery, with faint notes from the bai mu dan if you really feel for them.
Flavor wise, this is of course very mild. I am tasting something like mint that I didn’t expect. Rose is probably the strongest flavor, but I use the word “strong” generously. The peppery smell is in the taste as well. All around, I’m not really liking this. It’s very light and very boring. The bai mu dan notes are green and nice, but not really enough for me to be interested in making this again. Meh. This is a miss.
Flavors: Floral, Mint, Pepper, Rose
Couple things before I review this — the leaves do not look like they do in the picture. There is a downright crazy amount of coconut shavings in this. Like each teaspoon is about half tea, half squiggly pieces of coconut. Wow. The flowers described in the name seem to be cornflower, calendula, and chamomile. I can see coconut and chamomile going together.
Second, this tea isn’t listed on Pinky Up’s website. I only see it on Amazon. Have I found yet another discontinued tea? That would be my luck lately.
Anyway, it smells like coconut paradise. I absolutely love coconut, so I am more than excited. The tea brews up pale and greenish. It smells like dessert in the best way. There is a tiny bit of coconut oil floating on the surface, but nothing like 52 Teas’ coconut flavors. As far as taste goes, it’s everything I had hoped it would be. So creamy, with notes of vanilla. It’s like coconut cream pie filling.
I can’t wait to try this iced. It’s definitely a winner. Possibly the best coconut tea I’ve had to date.
EDIT: Coming back to say that I am kinda getting a weird chlorine note. Not sure if it was my preparation or my cup or what. I might dock a few points for that if I taste it again next time.
EDIT 2: I made this over ice last weekend and there was no chlorine note. It was just pure coconut bliss.
Flavors: Coconut, Creamy, Vanilla
The turmeric trend continues to find its way into my Sips by box.
I love the way this tea smells. Turmeric and cinnamon take the lead in the aroma. I see a very large amount of cinnamon chips and ginger root, but also some unusually big cardamom pods that have been sliced in a + shape. I guess that’s to help release the flavor.
Since I only had 4 teaspoons of this tea, I didn’t add milk. I use a 24-ounce tumbler, and I was afraid that it wouldn’t be strong enough. I was right, I believe. The flavor is just fine without the milk. Turmeric takes the lead, with ginger and cinnamon next. I really like the cinnamon they used. Reminds me of a snickerdoodle. However, I think I just don’t love turmeric. I find it kind of medicinal and off-putting. Like ginger’s ugly cousin. It leaves me wishing this was a regular chai, because if it was, it would be perfect.
EDIT: This turned the inside of my tumbler a gross shade of yellow. I hope it washes out easily…
Sipdowns in 2019: 18
Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Ginger, Medicinal, Pepper
I’m so happy to have this back in my collection. I’ve never reviewed it, but I believe this is my third time buying it. Anyway, the last time I got a notification that it was in stock, it sold out before my lunch break was even up. I emailed Brenden jokingly, saying something like “Did Golden Orchid really sell out in an hour??” Turns out it had sold out in 3 minutes. 3 MINUTES! But Brenden is amazing, y’all. He had the ingredients to make more and made me a custom three ounces. He is the best!
That said, the vanilla in this batch just isn’t what I remember. My memory of this tea is richer and I can’t figure out if my taster is broken, or if maybe I’m doing something wrong. The black tea base is still incredible. Luxurious and toasty. But the vanilla is lacking. Can any of you give me some advice on how you personally prepare it? I went with 3 rounded teaspoons for 24 ounces of water for 3 minutes.
Still giving it a high rating because I have faith. And because I would love this tea without the vanilla anyway.
EDIT: I see somebody saying the vanilla-ness tends to sink to the bottom of the packet. I’ll give mine a good shake tomorrow.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Toast, Vanilla, Wheat, Yams
I got this one from Sips by, too. I’ve reviewed it before, but it was almost eight years ago. My tastes have changed since then, and the tea I tried was a little old. So, this morning it gets a second chance.
The aroma is absolutely wonderful. Lush, dark berries and vanilla. It smells like a decadent dessert, almost like a strawberry shortcake, but with something more sensual and rich. I used 3 sachets for 24 ounces of water, and it came out plenty dark. I’m glad I saved my fourth sachet for a single cup later.
This tea tastes romantic. I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s creamy with vanilla and sweet with currant that reminds me of blackberries. Heavy and caramelly. The black tea base is strong but smooth with only a little astringency. Something about this makes me want to put a big dollop of whipped cream on top. I’m going to have to up my rating. 79 was far too low.
Flavors: Astringent, Berries, Berry, Black Currant, Blackberry, Caramel, Fruity, Vanilla
This one is from Sips by. I tweeted about it a day or two ago and a couple people said really nice things about it.
First of all, I love the art on the cake. It depicts a lovely woman in 1920’s fashion, with a cute bobbed hairstyle and one of those elegant cigarettes on a stick. Very Alphonse Mucha, but with fewer details.
The instructions on Sips by said that I needed half a cake for 8 ounces of water. That seemed like a lot to me, but I went with it. I crunched it up a bit and smelled it, thankful for no musty, iodine-like puerh notes. No, this just smells like the kind of dian hong black teas I crave.
Since I used so much of the cake, the tea comes out alarmingly dark. But it smells sweet, like fruit and malt. The flavor is so amazingly smooth. I’m getting notes of honeyed apricot. Faint oats or wheat. The honey note really lingers on the exhale. This tastes so much fresher than I expected. Even with the tea coming out this dark, it’s hardly bitter at all. This is a real treat. I will definitely be attempting a re-steep if the caffeine isn’t too much.
EDIT: The caffeine was a lot. I should have gone with a shorter steep time. Oh boy.
EDIT 2: Ok, I’m more than a little inexperienced with tea cakes. I see from other reviewers that I probably shouldn’t have broken the cake up. Oops. Now I know.
Sipdowns in 2019: 16
Flavors: Apricot, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Oats, Wheat